By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- South Dakota Mines was a busy place for the sports programs this past week as the Hardrockers celebrated their annual “M” Days homecoming. The volleyball team had three home matches, the football team played in its biggest rivalry game of the year and the men’s golf team wrapped up the fall potion of its schedule.
MITCHELL --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s golf team finished up the fall portion of its season this past weekend competing in the Palace City Classic, hosted by Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell.
As a team, the Hardrockers finished sixth, carding a two-day score of 636. After turning in a very impressive score as a team on Day 1 (307) to put them in second place, SDM fired a 329 on Day 2 which caused them to slip down the standings a bit.
“We were playing our best golf as a team after Day 1,” said Hardrocker head coach Eric Glenn. “That 307 is the best score we’ve shot all year. But that’s the way golf is.”
DWU won the team title, squeaking out a one-stroke victory (614) over Midland Lutheran College (615). The 36-hole tournament saw 10 teams in attendance. Morningside College finished third with a 620 and Briar Cliff University and Sioux Falls University tied for fourth place with scores of 632.
“This meet was good for us. All the teams that were there are in our region,” Glenn said referring to the teams that make up Region III (consisting of the Dakota Athletic Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference schools).
Individually, the Hardrockers had two golfers place in the Top 20. Freshman Brandon Eisenbraun from Yankton, tied for seventh place, shooting a 76 on Day 1 and then coming back with a 77 on his second round for a two-day total of 153.
“We had a great performance from out freshman Brandon Eisenbraun,” Glenn added.
Teammate Brad Schaack, a sophomore from Vermillion, finished in a tie for 17th, carding a 159 (76-83).
DWU’s Nick Gates and Tom Hoek finished 1, 2 respectively for the Tigers as Gates ended with a 147 and Hoek tied for second with a 150.
As for the rest of the Hardrockers, Quentin Patterson (junior from Sioux Falls) had a two-day score of 160 (75-85) which tied him for 22nd place, Hank Tanner (a senior from Casper, Wyo.) put up a 164 (80-84) for a tie for 34th, Luke Johnson (a senior from Webster) finished with a total of 174 (86-88) for a share of 46th place and Brian Davis (sophomore from Lead) posted a 176 (85-91) to tie for 50th spot.
The Hardrockers will pick up the season this coming April to finish out the conference schedule with tournaments in Rapid City and Spearfish.
SDM is third as a team in the DAC standings behind Minot State and Dickinson State. The Beavers lead the race with 10 points; the Blue Hawks have a score of 9 while the Hardrockers tallied 6.5.
Schaack is in seventh place in the individual race with 39 points while Tanner is just one spot back in eighth with 38 points. Jordan Kelly of Minot State leads the men’s standings with 56 points. Mines will host a two-day tournament April 15-16 at Meadowbrook Golf Course when the action picks up and then the final conference meet will be held at Spearfish Canyon Country Club April 22-23.
Glenn said that if the Hardrockers can win their own tournament, they will be in a really good position to win the conference title. The top two teams then advance to the Region III meet (site to be determined). Tanner and Schaack along with Patterson (currently 11th in DAC individual standings) are all in position to chase down the individual conference championship as well. Along with the top two teams, the Top 10 individuals in the conference also advance to the region tourney.
DAC Conference Standings: Minot 10; Dickinson State 9; SD School of Mines 6.5; Jamestown College 4.5.
Individual DAC Standings: Jordan Kelly, MSU, 56; Luke Dailey, MSU 55; Craig Gaube, DSU, 44.5; Ryan Opdahl, JC, 43; Carter Hikewich, DSU, 41; Jake Fladeland, DSU, 40; Brad Schaack, SDSM, 39; Hank Tanner, SDSM, 38; Chase Grinsteiner, JC, 38; Justin Aberle, MSU, 34.5; Quentin Patterson, SDSM 31.5.
The Hardrocker football team suffered one of its most disappointing losses of the season falling to Black Hills State on Dunham Field at O’Harra Stadium. This past Saturday marked the 119th meeting between the two schools which dates back to 1895.
The Yellow Jackets put quite a sting on the young Rocker team, blanking SDM, 47-0. To add insult to injury, BHSU was able to score with their offense, defense and special teams during the four quarters of play.
The statistics weren’t any better for the Hardrockers as SDM netted just 65 total yards of offense to BHSU’s 278.
Individually, freshman quarterback Jason Beilstein had a difficulty time dealing with the pressure from the Yellow Jackets��� defensive line. The Lodi, Calif. native was sacked seven times. The young talent though kept fighting all day long, making good on 11-22 passes and tallying 72 passing yards. He was picked off once.
Mills, Wyo., junior Lukas Munsell led the way in receptions Saturday, catching six for 31 total yards.
On the ground, Long Beach, Calif., freshman John Henderson had a tough day, netting only 18 yards on 10 carries.
Defensively, Chad Westendorf (sophomore from Geddes) was a bright spot for the Hardrockers coming up with two interceptions on the day. Hay Springs senior linebacker Jake Hahn, who tallied 23 tackles a week earlier against Minot, again paced Mines Saturday grabbing nine (seven solo, two assisted). Fellow senior James MacCormack (from Ashland, Or.) also had a forced fumble for the game.
The loss drops Mines to 1-4 on the season and 0-2 in the DAC.
This week, the Hardrockers make yet another trip to North Dakota (third in four weeks) to square off with Jamestown College. The Jimmies are 4-1 on the year and have a 1-1 mark in the conference standings.
The Lady Hardrocker volleyball team probably had one of its tougher stretches of the season this past weekend, squaring off with Dickinson State (Sept. 29), Minot State (Sept. 30) and Dana College (Oct. 1). The Mines netters came through the weekend pretty well, getting a conference win over Minot State, 3-1, earning a non-conference victory over Dana College (3-0) and coming up just a little short against the NAIA’s No. 5 ranked team (at the time) Dickinson Blue Hawks. Dickinson won the DAC match, 3-1.
“I was very pleased with our first two games against Dickinson,” said Hardrocker head coach Doug Tabbert. “I think we were solid in every facet of the game.”
In the match vs. Dickinson, the Blue Hawks squeaked out a Game 1 win, 30-28, but the Lady ‘Rockers answered back in the second game to tie the match with a 30-26 victory. Dickinson tightened up from there to take the next two bouts, but the Hardrockers proved that their program has turned a corner and the team is ready to compete at the next level.
“We are dramatically ahead of, this season, where we were last year at this time,” Tabbert added.
Individually, Tessa Howe, a sophomore from Omaha, Neb., earned the DAC Setter of Week honors for the second consecutive week. The SDM setter tallied 141 assists for the week 28 digs, 10 service aces and four blocks for the Hardrockers.
Fellow sophomore and Omaha native Jenny Hiykel also had a fine defensive effort over the last three matches, totaling 61 digs as going 104-109 on serve receive.
Offensively, it was Katherine Hanson, a freshman from Sioux Falls, who led the offensive surge. The middle hitter went 94-104 on the attack and had 42 kills for the week.
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